Friday, February 10, 2012

West must not intervene militarily in Syria

(CNN) -- Some of the bravest, noblest women and men I have met are members of the United States armed forces.

To them, military intervention is not about winning a debate on television or sounding smart on Twitter. With the United Nations ruling out support for military options to stop the bloodbath in Homs in Syria, leading U.S.
commentators are calling for NATO and the Arab League to intervene militarily.

In reality, this would mean the United States would once again carry the heavy burden of war. In NATO's recent operation in Libya, the United States provided 75% of the reconnaissance data, surveillance, intelligence and refueling planes. Syria is not Libya, and NATO without the United States is not up to the job.

The Arab League is no match for a brutal Syrian regime backed by Russia, China and Iran.

In essence, therefore, we must stop pretending about NATO or the Arab League intervening and accept that it is not "international intervention," but U.S. military intervention that is being sought in yet another Muslim-majority country. The Muslim dimension is important because the lessons of Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan are that, invariably, intervention leads to occupation, which leads to varying degrees of Islamist radicalization. Read More